There are probably as many explanations for marijuana use as there are people who use marijuana. Marijuana use has become more acceptable as the medical establishment has begun to incorporate THC into treatments for various ailments, and a few states have relaxed laws to allow for recreational use of marijuana. The fact remains, however, that the active ingredients in marijuana will affect and temporarily alter a user’s brain chemistry and metabolism. Users claim to enjoy the feelings that marijuana produces, but their real reasons for using marijuana often go much deeper.
Physicians have know for thousands of years that marijuana has medical applications and medical uses of marijuana and THC are in a separate category from recreational use. Modern medicine uses marijuana to treat glaucoma, neuropathy, movement and nerve disorders, and pain. Marijuana is also used to ease the pain and discomfort of chemotherapy in cancer patients and as an appetite stimulant for individuals who are suffering from malnutrition.
Recreationally, people use marijuana to ease stress and to relax, to relieve boredom, and to enhance their confidence and self-esteem. Marijuana users will mention their ease of access to marijuana as a reason for their marijuana use, as if the availability of marijuana alone is sufficient reason to use it. Teens are tempted to use marijuana as a symbol of their rebellion and desire to strike out on their own paths away from their home life. Popular culture also gives a general impression that marijuana use is acceptable, and younger marijuana users are apt to succumb to peer and cultural pressure to use marijuana as a means of fitting in with a group of friends.
Why People Use Marijuana
The reasons that people will cite for their recreational use of marijuana begs the question of whether they are using marijuana to ignore or hide other problems in their lives. Individuals who are suffering from anxiety or depression disorders, for example, might use marijuana to alleviate symptoms of those disorders. In these cases, marijuana use is a band-aid that only covers the underlying problem without solving it. If you find yourself using marijuana as a means to escape a problem, you are exposing yourself to the risks of that problem becoming more difficult to handle. This may be the most significant potential danger of marijuana, namely, that marijuana provides a temporary respite from a deeper problem but it does not make the problem go away. When marijuana no longer offers the relief from a deeper problem that a user desires, he or she may be tempted to try stronger and more addictive substances to hold the problem at bay.
If you use marijuana for any reasons, you should not do so without examining those reasons and understanding your own personal motivations for your marijuana use. The biggest danger that you will face is using marijuana without thinking through the ramifications of that use in the context of other issues in your life.
If you have any questions or concerns about your use of marijuana or your motivations for that use, please contact the counselors and therapists at the Last Resort Recovery Center (near Austin, Texas) at 512-360-3600 for a confidential consultation and information. We can help you think through your reasons for using marijuana and give you suggestions and alternatives to address your motivations.